FLORENCE, S.C. – Four members of the Francis Marion University women’s soccer team – senior defender Kristi Eyler, junior forward Katie Riley, sophomore forward Ashley Fortune, and sophomore midfielder Brittany Rothenbach – were recently named to the Peach Belt Conference 2004 All-Conference Team. FMU head coach Marty Beall was also selected as the conference’s Coach of the Year.
Riley was an All-PBC selection in 2002 as a freshman, while the other three are first-time honorees.
Eyler, a native of Abingdon, Md., started 16 of 17 matches and anchored the Patriot defense that allowed only 19 goals and recorded nine shutouts. She also scored three goals and recorded five assists to finish fifth on the team in total points. Both Eyler and Rothenbach are products of Bel Air High School.
Riley, a native of Hampstead, Md., tallied 13 goals and nine assists to rank fourth in the PBC in total points. Among her goals were four match-winning scores. She is also ranked third in the Peach Belt with 38 career goals.
Fortune, a native of Bothell, Wash., led the Patriots in scoring with 15 goals and 10 assists. In her first season at Francis Marion, she tallied six match-winning scores. She scored a PBC record six goals in a single match midway through the year, later leading to her earning PBC Player of the Week recognition. Last year as a freshman at Texas Christian University, she was selected to Conference USA’s All-Freshman Team.
Rothenbach, a native of Bel Air, Md., helped direct a Patriot offense that averaged 2.82 goals per match, second-best in the conference. She scored one goal and registered five assists.
Beall directed FMU to a 13-4-0 record and the program’s first PBC regular-season championship. The Damascus, Md., native is the first Patriot women’s soccer coach to earn PBC Coach of the Year honors. In two years as head coach of the Patriots, he has recorded a 24-11-1 mark.
The Patriots lost a close 3-2 decision to Clayton College & State University in the PBC Tournament semifinals last weekend, eliminating the squad’s chance at receiving an NCAA Division II national tournament invitation.